The Universe Next Door

40 Episodes

By: Nick Shalna, Dr. Tom Woodard, and Michael C. Sherrard

The Universe Next Door, a program of the C.S. Lewis Society, seeks to answer your questions on the meaning of life, worldview, and the existence of God.

Q&A: Revelation, the Holy Spirit, Heaven, Salvation
Last Friday at 9:00 PM

In this month's Q&A, questions are sent in about the Holy Spirit in the book Revelation, the idea of God "blotting out" from the book of Life, Romans 9, and salvation in addition to others!

Send your questions in to for the Q&A on the last Friday of June!

Episode on Romans 9:

Jesus in the Old Testament:

The Resurrected Body:


The Real Reason Jesus Overturned the Tables of the Money Changers

Why did Jesus flip the tables of the money changers and sellers of sacrifices? Does this passage mean that we can't buy and sell at churches to any degree? What details in this passage can help us to understand what's really going on? How can the relationship between Jew and Gentile in this passage help us understand what's going on in our Romans 9-11 series that will continue next week?

*Also, I meant to mention in the episode, Jesus did not clear out the people with whips, only the sheep and cattle (John 2:15)


This Might Be the Biggest Archeological Discovery of Our Lifetime (Curse Tablet) | Scott Stripling

Nick Shalna interviews Scott Stripling-- archeologist and author, on the famous recent curse tablet discovery. Why is this tablet so incredibly significant to biblical history? What is a curse tablet? How was it found? What goes into making biblical discoveries in archeology? Was everything done legally and why has there been pushback?

Send your questions to right now for our next Q&A released on Friday 5/26 at 5 pm!

Peer-Reviewed Publication:

Scott's Website:

Why Romans 9 is So Highly Debated

Why is Romans 9 one of the most disagreed upon chapters in the Bible? What is the Apostle Paul really intending to communicate and how should it be understood?  Are some individually chosen for salvation and some to be damned? Join us as we examine one of the most famous chapters in the Bible.

Send your questions to now for our next Q&A!

Foreknowledge and Predestination:

Untwisting Scripture - Commonly Misunderstood Bible Verses:

How to Have Difficult Conversations About Cultural Topics

What do you do when someone makes a statement opposite to your faith and you feel defensive and put on the spot? How can we encourage someone to rethink their position while maintaining respect and patience? What will you say when someone claims: "It's a woman's right to choose" or, "Love is love. Who someone marries is not your business"? Believe it or not, you can engage in these discussions confidently and make a difference without having all of the answers! Are you prepared to defend the truth?

Send your questions to now for...

Q&A: The Catholic Church, Christian Authors, Christian Nationalism

Join us for our monthly Q&A and be sure to send in your questions for next months question and answer to

Episodes mentioned:

Patterns of Evidence with Tim Mahoney:

Predestination and Foreknowledge:

Faith vs Works James 2:24:

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What Goes Into Making Movies About the Bible? | Tim Mahoney

Nick Shalna interviews Tim Mahoney, writer and director of the Patterns of Evidence films, about his new movie: Journey to Mount Sinai Part 2. What goes into making a movie in the Middle East about the truth of Scripture? What are the difficulties involved? Join us in supporting Bible-based movies and content!

Send your questions to right now for the Q&A that will be released this Friday night at 5 pm!

Tickets and information for the new Patterns of Evidence movie on May 15 and 17:

Can't Wait for This

Join us tomorrow (Tuesday) at 6 pm for the new episode!

In the meantime, send your questions to for the Q&A that will be released Friday at 5 pm!

Check out one of our favorite recent interviews with Os Guinness:

Do you understand the nature of Christ?

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Influential Story: From Rockstar to Christian Professor | With Tom Woodward

Nick Shalna interviews Dr. Tom Woodward, the founder of the Universe Next Door, on one of the most influential people he's ever met. Bill Tsamis, a former student of Dr. Woodward, went from being a member of a touring metal band to a professor at Trinity College of Florida. How did it happen? Why is this story so influential? Join us to hear Bill's story which should be a movie script!

Send your questions to for our Q&A which will be released Friday 4/28 at 5 pm!

Check out other...

The Wonder of God from a Movie Maker’s Perspective | Lad Allen

Nick Shalna interviews Lad Allen, co-creator of Illustra Media and the John 1010 Project,  on various topics surrounding God's creation's beauty and its theological truth. Can we see God's creativity even in a blade of grass or a mushroom? What about God's compassion and attention to our needs through pain and suffering?  Join us on a journey about the wonder, creativity, and care of our loving Creator.

Send in your questions now to for the Q&A on the last Friday of the month!

The John 1010 Project Website:

Why the Evidence for the Resurrection is Overwhelming | Gary Habermas

Did Jesus die on the cross or was it a hoax? Did the Apostles steal His body to stage the greatest heist ever? Can the details surrounding the resurrection be verified or should they be in the category of ancient mythology? Join us as Dr. Gary Habermas, the worlds leading expert in the study of the resurrection, presents strong and convincing evidence for the resurrection that every Christian should be prepared to defend.

Send your questions to prior to April 28 for the next Q&A!

Last Q&A:

Q&A: Jesus Revolution, Egalitarianism, Romans 9

Check out our Q&A and send your questions to for next month!

Episodes referenced:

The "satan" in Job:

What is Predestination?:

Should We Listen to Music from Bethel and Hillsong?:

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Revelation, Modern Demon Possession, and Lesser-Known Gospel Insights | Craig Keener

What are some of the amazing insights that the common reader of the Bible might pass over and never know it? Does demon possession still happen today? How can someone understand the book of Revelation without having a PhD? Join us as Bible commentator Craig Keener takes us on a journey through some of the lesser-known but most mind-blowing insights in the New Testament. 

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His Only Son - Abraham and Isaac | David Helling

Why did God call Abraham to offer up his son Isaac in Genesis 22? How old was Isaac and are the child depictions that we often see actually accurate? How does this story point to ultimate fulfillment in Christ? Why does the world call this event "controversial"? Nick Shalna is joined by David Helling, the Writer and Director of the new feature film "His Only Son", to discuss the purpose and impact of this new movie about Abraham's story.

*The sooner you see His Only Son, the better. If Christian movies have a good initial reaction in theaters...

How to Engage the Culture with the Beauty of the Gospel | Paul Gould

Nick Shalna interviews Dr. Paul Gould, author of Cultural Apologetics, on how to accurately and creatively engage a lost culture with the good news of Jesus Christ. How can we reach people where they currently are with the gospel? How do we be careful not to compromise the gospel and proclaim God's Word accurately? How does the Apostle Paul use this approach in Acts 17? Join us in discussing the way forward to reaching this generation with the gospel.

Send your questions about faith and worldview to for our Q&A on Friday, March 31!<...

Untwisting Scripture: The Most Misunderstood Bible Verses and Concepts (Part 1)

In the first part of this new sporadic series, Nick Shalna address some of the most misunderstood Bible verses and concepts and shows us why God's intended meaning is always better.  What happens "when two or three gather?" Why did God tell Habakkuk that he wouldn't believe God even if He told Him what He was doing? Have John 3:18 and John 3:36 been forgotten?

Our Q&A is coming up on Friday night March 31! Send your questions now to to have your question answered on the show.

Should I listen to Bethel, H...

How Should We Understand Predestination and Foreknowledge?

When the Apostle Paul uses the term "predestined" in Romans 8 and Ephesians 1, what is he intending to communicate? Why has this concept divided so many? Can we as Christians better understand this term in a way that points to God's compassion and redemption? Join us as we discuss the biblical idea of predestination that has (possibly) been lost in church history!

Send your questions to for the Q&A that will take place on the last Friday of the month!

Suggested Scripture Reading:
Romans 8
Ephesians 1
1 Timothy 1

The Most Common Questions About Christianity (The Trinity, Salvation, Existence of Jesus)

Nick Shalna answers and gives tips for responding to the most common questions asked about Christianity today. How do we explain the Trinity? Are all sins equal? Can I lose my salvation? Did Jesus really exist?

Don't forget to send your questions to for the Q&A at the end of the month!

Dan Wallace: Is the New Testament Terribly Altered and Untrustworthy?

One of my Favorite Episodes from our Cultural Issues Series (Becket Cook):

Q&A: Divine Council, Satan in Job, Ancient Near Eastern Culture

Why does the divine council worldview matter? Is "the satan" in Job the same character as the cosmic evil being we know as Satan? Why do Ancient Near Eastern culture and the intertestamental period matter?

Send in your questions for the next Q&A to!

The View that Changed the Way I Read My Bible:

Who is Satan Series - First Episode:

Biola Article Referenced:

The Terrifying Truth Behind Worshiping Idols

What actually took place when Israel worshiped idols who were not God? Why does Jesus send out 70 to cast out demons? What implications does the divine council worldview have on the way we read Scripture and see history? Join us for the second and last part (for now) of the divine council series!

Don't forget to send in your questions to by Thursday morning for the Q&A to be released this Friday at 6 pm!

This Series has been created in honor of Dr. Michael Heiser

Unseen Realm:

What is the Biggest Danger Facing the Church Today? | Os Guinness

Why does it seem like the idea of the family is being attacked? Is the church being lead into false and dangerous ideologies? Why are believers looking more like the world and less like a group of people doing God's work God's way? Nick Shalna interviews Dr. Os Guinness (author and apologist), who suggests that we need to see another reformation and revival, and certainly not a woke one!

Don't forget to send your questions in to for the Divine Council Q&A next week!

The Call  b...

The View that Changed the Way I Read My Bible

Does God have a Divine Council? What does the term Elohim really mean and who are the "Elohim" that God is speaking to in Psalm 82? What really happened at the Tower of Babel and why does it matter more than we may think? Join us as Nick Shalna gives a summary of the view that changed the way he reads the Bible: The Divine Council worldview.

This episode has been created in honor of Dr. Michael Heiser. Please pray for him and his family, and read his most popular book, The Unseen Realm<...

How to Understand the Gospels Correctly | Mike Licona

Are there contradictions in the four Gospels? Why do details of the same story in one gospel often differ from those in others? How should we think about the inspiration and inerrancy of Scripture and are there issues with the traditional views? Nick Shalna is joined by Mike Licona, author of Why Are There Differences in the Gospels, to do a little, or a lot, of digging and get to the bottom of some of the most common criticisms of the four Gospels.

Check out our episode on Genealogies referenced in this video (Mike doesn't think t...

Mike Licona - How Should We View the Gospels? (Promo)

Make sure to join us tomorrow night at 6 pm for our conversation with Dr. Mike Licona as we discuss how the gospels would have been read and understood in the 1st century!

In the meantime, check out last week's episode: Did Jesus Every Claim to be God?

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Did Jesus Ever Claim to Be God?

Have you ever heard the objection that Jesus never claimed to be God? It's a widespread criticism that gets echoed over and over again, but in this episode, we'll see why it doesn't have any credibility. As we highlight 5 out of the dozens of claims Jesus made to Deity, you will not only learn more about who Christ is but you'll also be prepared to defend the Bible's claims of Jesus' identity confidently.

Why do the Names of God Matter?

Is Jesus the Visible Yahweh in...

Why the Shocking Recent State of Theology Study Matters | Dr. Joe Allotta

Nick Shalna is joined by Dr. Joe Allotta, Pastor and Professor, to discuss what the new State of Theology survey reveals about the faith and views of our culture, including the evangelical church. Does this new research show that the church is continuing to misunderstand who Christ is and why it matters so much?  Are believers and non-believers moving closer or further from the biblical perspective on cultural issues? What can we do about it and how does this provide us with a great opportunity in the realm of apologetics? Join us as we break down the good and b...

How to Understand Jesus' Nature as the God-Man

What do we mean when we say that Jesus is both God and Man? What does the Bible say about this and why is it such a big deal? What's so dangerous about teaching that Jesus left His divinity in heaven? Join us as we discuss the nature of Christ and why it matters more than you may think!

Jesus the Visible God:

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When was Jesus actually Born?

While the New Testament does not give an explicit date or any date at all for the birth of Jesus, does it offer clues and insights as to when His birthdate may have been? Is the Christmas holiday really based on pagan myths and legends such as Saturnalia? Is it possible that scholars have been misled by a mistake Josephus made regarding the timing of the reign of Herod? Join us as we discuss these topics and many more!

*The Steinmann article referenced is not in the Public domain so it can’t be posted. However, you ca...

Who were the Magi? (Understanding and Defending Christmas) [Part 2]

Why were the Magi led to Jerusalem and then to Bethlehem by "His star"? What prompted Herod and the Jewish Sanhedrin to give them a hearing and take them seriously? How did they know to expect when the Messiah would be born? What are their origins and were they familiar with biblical prophecy? Where did the idea of "Three kings" come from and is it completely inaccurate? Join us as we uncover who the Magi were and what significance they had in the ancient world.

Interested in giving to support The Universe Next Door?

Why You Will NEVER Be Bored By Genealogies Again (Understanding and Defending Christmas Series)

Why are there differences between Matthew and Luke's genealogies of Jesus in the New Testament? Are these differences mistakes or are they meant to communicate something? What is the significance of the number 14 in Matthews genealogy and the number 77 in Luke's? Why are there four women listed in Jesus' lineage who are all in some way related to the same category of sin? Join us to find out why genealogies are not as boring as they've been made out to be, and how they are actually packed with theology and purpose.

Join us next Monday night @ 6pm...

Why You Will NEVER Be Bored By Genealogies Again (Understanding and Defending Christmas Series) [Promo]

Are you prepared to defend the differences in Jesus's two genealogies found in the New Testament? Join us tomorrow night at 6pm for the start of our brand new series on understanding and defending Christmas!

Have a question regarding Christmas? Send it to to have it answered during this series!

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Marxism, CRT and Philosophy | Douglas Groothuis

Nick Shalna is joined by philosopher Dr. Douglas Groothuis-- author of Truth Decay and Christian Apologetics, to discuss tough issues regarding CRT, philosophy and culture. How should we think about these topics as Christian believers? What are the roots of the popular ideologies that we see growing in our culture today?
Have a question for our upcoming apologetics Christmas series? Send it to:

Interested in giving to support The Universe Next Door?

Fire in the Streets book:

Does the Bible Really Support Slavery? | Paul Copan

Nick Shalna is joined by Dr. Paul Copan, author of Is God a Moral Monster and Is God a Vindictive Bully,  to discuss what the Bible really has to say about the topic of slavery. Are there drastic differences between the African slave trade and the "slavery" mentioned in the Old Testament? How is servitude in the Bible to be viewed in light of other ancient near eastern cultures? Join us as Dr. Copan answers these questions as well as many others regarding the topic of slavery in the Bible.

Interested in giving to support The U...

The Wingfeather Saga and Imagination in Christianity | Andrew Peterson and Chris Wall

Nick Shalna interviews Andrew Peterson, the award winning author of The Wingfeather Saga, and Chris Wall who is the executive producer of Andrew's brand new animated series! Andrew and Chris are not only offering an incredibly entertaining TV show, but also a series that will help your children (and their parents) use their imagination to think about God in a powerful way.

The Wingfeather Saga Trailer:

Episode 1 Premiere Tonight @ 8pm:<...

The Dragon's Demise: What Happens to Satan? (Who is Satan?) Part 3

What will ultimately happen to Satan? If he was defeated at the cross, where is he now? Is hell only a temporary place, or somewhere people go to be "refined" for a period of time? What is the lake of fire and what does Jesus have to say about the concept of hell? Join us as we wrap up our three part series on Satan by discussing the Dragon's demise!

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The Pestilence and the Fowler's Snare: The Desert Temptation (Who is Satan?) Part 2

What is Satan's temptation of Jesus in the wilderness really about? Why did he choose to quote Psalm 91 to Jesus? Are there layers to this event that we may not have previously thought about? Join us in the second part of our brand new series focused on exposing the truth of who Satan is!

Listen to part one of the "Who is Satan?" series:

Bible Logos article cited:

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The Serpent and the Guardian Cherub (Who is Satan?) Part 1

Is it possible that many of the ideas we've heard about Satan come from fictional books such as Milton's Paradise Lost and not from Scripture itself? Does the Old Testament say more about Satan than you may have previously thought? Why does the Bible tell us that the cursed serpent would crawl on its belly when thats what a snake naturally does? What was Jesus referring to when He saw Satan "fall like lightning from heaven" in Luke 10? Join us as we explore the most significant passages describing Satan in the Old Testament. 

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Why Do the Names of God Matter? (Elohim, Yahweh, Son of Man)

Do the names that God uses for Himself in the Bible communicate something important about who He is? Why does Jesus so often refer to Himself as "The Son of Man?" Is God the only "Elohim" and how do we understand passages that seem to say otherwise? Join us as we tackle these tough and intriguing questions about who God is!

Other related episodes:

Is Jesus the "Visible God" in the Old Testament?

The Most Shocking Predictions About Jesus

The Most Shocking Predictions About Jesus

How does it benefit us when we view the coming of the Messiah with the Old Testament story in mind? Does the Bible tell us when the Savior of the world would come and where He would come from? Are there crucial details about the Old Testament prophecies of Jesus that are often over looked? Join us as we discuss some of the most important Messianic prophecies in the Bible and why Jesus is the only One who could fulfill them. 

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Is There a Disciple Dilemma? | Dennis Allen

What does it mean to be a disciple of Jesus? Was discipleship "hacked" early in church history? How does discipleship merge with apologetics and what can we do to be sure we are following Christ to the best of the ability that He gives us? Join us in exploring these questions as Nick Shalna and Dr. Tom Woodward interview Dennis Allen, author of The Disciple Dilemma and former US Air Force pilot.

The Disciple Dilemma: